The sentinel node technique is useful for studies of intestinal immunology in inflammatory bowel disease patients

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Oct;20(10):985-8. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e3282fbf5f5.


Objective: Mesenteric lymph nodes may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of human inflammatory bowel disease. We have used the sentinel node technique to analyze mesenteric lymph nodes draining inflammatory lesions sentinel nodes and corresponding site of inflamed bowel in patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Methods: Thirty-two patients undergoing surgical treatment of inflammatory bowel disease were included. Sentinel nodes were identified intraoperatively. The T cells were harvested from the mesenteric lymph nodes and characterized by flow cytometry.

Results: The distribution of CD4CD62L (homing-marked) and CD4CD69 (activated) T cells was studied in mesenteric lymph nodes draining inflammation, nodes draining normal intestine, blood, and mucosa. The turnover of T cells was markedly increased in the lymph nodes connected to inflammatory segments. The immunologic activity of the sentinel lymph nodes correlated with the degree of intestinal inflammation.

Conclusion: Mesenteric sentinel nodes provide important information about locoregional immunology and pathogenesis in inflammatory bowel disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • L-Selectin / immunology
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Mesentery / immunology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD69 antigen
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • L-Selectin